Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd will be competing against ally Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano for the right to be the Senate President.
Pimentel made the announcement ahead of the signing of the coalition agreement between the Pimentel-led Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition—the second largest political party in the country.
“As President of the [PDP-Laban] party, I will aspire to be the Senate President so that the agenda of the party and that of the President can be shepherded through the Senate,” Pimentel told reporters.
“Senator Cayetano and myself belong to one group—the group that supported the candidacy of would-be President Duterte. We will possibly engage in a friendly competition for the commitment of our colleagues. But in the end, we will have to work together,” Pimentel added.
Pimentel is the President of PDP-Laban of which presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte is a member, while Cayetano served as the running mate of Duterte in the 2016 polls.
Duterte, the Davao City Mayor, overwhelmingly won the polls with 16 million votes. Cayetano, however, finished a far third and conceded to frontrunner Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
Pimentel, who would need to secure at least 12 votes to win the Senate Presidency, also ruled out term sharing even if he and Cayetano are allies.
“I don’t believe in term sharing. Once we already picked the Senate President, we should let him finish his term,” Pimentel said.
“I have the blessing of my party, that’s why I am going for it (Senate Presidency). If he (Cayetano) doesn’t give way, it’s okay because we belong to one camp. In the end, we will be together,” Pimentel added.